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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Hooked' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 2nd 2010 9:24AM
Carrie Underwood and Josh Radnor in 'HIMYM' - 'Hooked'(S05E16) When I was out in LA for the press tour in January, I had the pleasure of watching the table read for this episode. This was the actual Monday-morning table read, not a show for the gathered critics; the writers were sitting by taking notes that would be used to make changes before shooting.

What struck me about the table read was that, despite the fact that it was the first draft and the cast hadn't fully gotten into how exactly they were going to play the script, the episode was funny. People were genuinely laughing, including the writers, who have lived with the script for some time; they weren't cackling in an effort to sell their funny lines. In fact, it was one of the funniest episodes of the season.

Watching the final version, I noticed that not a whole lot changed from that table read. And, even though I knew most of what was coming, I laughed as hard as I did when I was on the set a month and a half ago. If that's not the sign of a top-notch episode, I don't know what is.

Everyone's been "on the hook" romantically. Everyone. There's always been someone who you really like who's put you off repeatedly because either the person is keeping you in a "break glass in an emergency" situation, or just doesn't have the heart to tell you that he or she just doesn't think of you that way. Or, in the case of Robin, you really love having burly cameramen wash your delicates. Whichever way you slice it, the idea of being on someone's hook is pretty universal. And Bays, Thomas and the writers captured that awful feeling perfectly.

Ted's romantic misadventures have always been a hit-or-miss prospect on the show, but they usually tend to work when they hit on truly universal experiences. And who hasn't wimped out by adding "... right now" to even the most emphatic "This will never happen" kind of statements? It was funnier how it translated to Lily's relationship with "Lunch Lady Scooter." The poor guy can just flash those sad puppy eyes and Lily was toast. Even after she got hardened by rejecting the adorable teacup pig, Marshall was rendered useless. "Hang in there, Scoots. I can't live forever." Wow. Scooter needs to harness that power.

Now, I have to be honest: I probably would have been on the hook for Carrie Underwood, rubbing her feet and making her chocolate cake. She did a nice job of making Tiffany into someone you'd go on the hook for, though seeing that even someone who's "pretty much always been hot" could also be on the hook was refreshing.

Of course, there was also Barney's examination of the "sexiest professions" over the years. That rundown was the Best Barneyism of the week. Anyone who saw Heather Locklear strut her way around 'Scrubs' a number of years ago knows that the "pharma girl" is the new stewardess. But Neil Patrick Harris' reactions to the gaggle of pharma girls Tiffany worked with were priceless. It was one of the first times that I felt that the Barney Balance was correct: he was Barney-like without being ridiculous, like in 'Rabbit Or Duck.'

More fun stuff:

-- Marshall really defends the welfare of lunch ladies, doesn't he? Only he would interpret "Lunch Lady Scooter" as a mode of transportation for those hard-working lunch ladies. Maybe we'll see a story about his crush on a lunch lady sometime.

-- More Marshall: He was a bit under the radar in this episode, but then you think of how he was on the hook as a teenager and the flashback of Awkward Marshall -- "Wanna go see my rap poster?" -- you realize he was in this episode quite a bit.

-- Robin scores one for relationships: Barney tells her about his Pharma Girl conquests, going "am I right, people?" Her response? "Yeah, there's no people. Just the girl you most recently dated." A little Robin blow-up coming, perhaps?

-- Barney's speech about the end of "pharma girls" was second place in the Best Barneyism contest, especially when he says that eventually some "not-so-fabulous gay guys enter the ranks." He's right, though; I'm pretty sure a Southwest fight from Albuquerque to Little Rock isn't a pretty sight.

-- Haven't forgotten about Henrietta. Ted's hook person was the weakest part of the episode, but she had her own stalkerific moments, like saying "but we're still getting married, right?" when Ted said they would never ever happen.

[Watch clips and free episodes of 'HIMYM' at SlashControl.]

channel: "CBS on AOL" show:how i met your mother sort:mostrecent

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Loved Barney in the episode, even if he did not have much screen time...

"What IN THE WORLD is up!"

March 02 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There are probably fewer than a dozen flight attendants who regularly work that specific Southwest route (if it exists). Imagine being insulted like that.

March 02 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to skim's comment

It's a big country. Only 10 million people watch this show every week. Statistically it's improbably that any of them saw this episode.

March 02 2010 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 02 2010 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed the episode...it was definitely a stand-alone/throw-away episode, but that doesn't matter much to me... What does matter is that it WAS funny and I got my favorite thing about the show, seeing the whole ensemble have a good chunk of time... And I thought Carrie Underwood did a pretty good job, for what I think is her first time appearing as someone other than herself on tv!


March 02 2010 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad someone cleared up the "rat," "rap" thing. I kept listening really hard and seemed like sometimes it was "rat" and sometimes it was "rap." Makes more sense now. And, yeah, a puppy would have been cuter, but they don't seem to have regular animals on this show--remember the goat? Funny episode, but not sure I'd consider the best.

March 02 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elvis Ramone

Nope..Lily said something like "I was really into wu tang clan then!", when they speak about the rap poster.

March 02 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you HIMYM staff for having Carrie Underwood dress up like a nurse and stewardess :)

March 02 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was really disappointed with this season but this episode and the perfect week episode last month give me hope that this show could still have a few more good years!

March 02 2010 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Wanna go see my rap poster?"

I believe that should be Ratt poster. Heavy metal band from the 80's

March 02 2010 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment

I'm pretty sure it's Rap poster, cause Lily mentioned being "really into the Wu-Tang Clan." I don't think the Wu-Tang Clan has anything to do with Ratt.

March 02 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think a puppy would have been more appealing.

March 02 2010 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I the only person who found the teacup pig hideously unattractive?

March 02 2010 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Willmore2000's comment

At first I did, too, but for some reason I went from "ack! pig" to "okay he's not bad" to "OMG!LUVU! SO CUTE!" in a span of half an hour. Weird.

Fantastic episode regardless. Totally made me laugh way too many times. Hit too close to home maybe? Hm...

March 02 2010 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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